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To keep or give up?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My two fosterkittens are almost old enough to move out and it's breaking my heart just thinking about giving them away.

Those of you who have fostered lots of cats and kittens and given them up, how do you do it??

My heart says keep them but my mind says it's probably not fair to my three older cats or to the two kittens. It's not the space or costs that bothers me. I'm thinking is it fair to my make 10,9,7-year old cats deal with these youngsters and then I'm thinking is it fair to the youngsters to live with these older not playful cats. And also how would I be able to give all of them enough attention????

It would probably be easier to give them up if I knew there would be new kittens to care for but I have had to accept that my health requires more sleep then is possible when bottlefeeding wee ones so there wont be more kittens in our home for a long long time

Any advice?
post #2 of 9
Sounds to me like you've bonded with these kittens. You say space and cost aren't the problem. The main thing you're worried about is being able to give them enough attention. You think it's not fair to your older cats. Well, as far as your older cats, have they already been socializing with the foster kittens? If they have, and they're getting along, they've already decided it's OK with them. And the attention they've been getting while the kittens are in the house is enough. So, that just leaves you. Go on, keep the kittens!! It sounds to me like they're already in their home.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well one of my cats (the 7 year old - with perserblood) does not like them, she used to be my little baby and she is very very attached to me. She's stopped hitting them for just breathing but she will leave and meow because she is not my lapcat anymore.

The oldest doesnt really care that much but if the kittens come up in the sofa and she is there she will leave.

The middle cat who also used to be like a baby has been by herself a lot since the kittens came.

It's hard to know what behavior comes from having kittens here and what comes from the extreme heat that we've dealt with for the last four weeks.
post #4 of 9
Sounds like your adult cats prefer only 3 to the home. If you can find good homes, then the kittens may be better off. However, if you have to keep them, remind yourself that you are senior cat! My adults have been resentful about my kittens, too, except for one, Icy, who likes to hunt with them outside; lately, the older 2, Icy & Cindy have been more accepting of the young guys - but it's taken 8 months!
post #5 of 9
Maybe the best solution would be to find homes for the kittens and work at an animal shelter as a volunteer or as a foster coordinator? This way you'd get lots of kitten time, and would be continuing to help cats find homes, without making your three existing kitties unhappy.
post #6 of 9
It is difficult to give them up. As I have them, I try to think of it as babysitting someone else's cats. But you cannot keep babies, especially if you bottle fed them, without falling in love! And it is hard to be the one to decide to give them up, when you know you could keep them if you wanted to!

If you give these guys up, but still want babies, check with the foster agency. Not all kittens get adopted immediately. Maybe instead of newborns, you can foster older kittens.

Best of luck to you!
post #7 of 9
Poor you. I have never bottlefed babies, so i dont know about the bond. I am weird in that I dont normally find it hard to give up foster cats, partly as i view the experience as looking after them till their forever home is found to avoid getting attached. It normally works (apart from with my current foster, due to her personality.). If you really enjoyed the experience, maybe you could look into fostering through a charity, you could then have kittens with mums, or older kittens, or even adult cats. I really enjoy fostering, although it is hard to give them up it is so rewarding.
post #8 of 9
I have bottle fed young ones and was able to adopt out 4 out of 7 of them. It's plain hard to give them up.

The intellectual debate is that if you get these babies adopted, you will have room in your house to take in more when the need arises. Since there are so many cats out there needing homes, you are helping the larger problem of homeless pets. You may not get orphaned kittens, but you could get weaned kittens or adult cats that would otherwise be euthanized or remain homeless.

But the emotional side of me has the same problem you face. My emotion has caused me to keep more than I should have over time. I have 13 cats plus a few ferals that I consider permanent residents. It is a constant struggle to keep the emotional balance in line with all of those cats. I can afford them, I have the space for them, but it takes a LOT of work to manage their emotional needs. Like you, I started with 1, then 2, then 3, and it's now up to a lot of cats. It's easy to rationalize in your mind to keep them all. It's harder to care for their emotional needs.

If you really want to help homeless pets by fostering them, you have to force yourself to go beyond the "single cat" and look at the "cat nation" issues. I volunteer for the Humane Society but I can't foster as it would bring too much chaos to my household. I stick to fundraising and education.

I hope this helps you in some small way.
post #9 of 9
I foster cats on a regular basis for a non-profit no kill shelter. I've had three kittens I've had to give up that I was VERY attached to. It felt like I was ripping my own heart out. Two were little munchkins. They were the most wonderful litte boys! But their constant disrespect for my cat Sassy's space really drove her nuts. She has had a personality change like your cat. In my heart, I wanted to keep them, but I felt that I owed it to Sassy, who I had made the decision to adopt long before the others came along, to give them up. Another kitten thought he was my child because he was so tiny when I got him. I sobbed for days over him, but I felt I had to let him go because I have so many foster cats needing homes. I have 13 foster cats now, with one of them pregnant. I can't give them all the attention they need or want, and I felt it was unfair to them to not let one go to a good home.
I completely understand your feelings. But if your cat has had personality changes, and you don't feel you can give them all enough attention, you should let the babies go to good homes. It hurts, but there truly is also joy in seeing a little soul snatched from the millions of cats euthanized every year, or simply killed on the streets. I find that my heart does heal from giving up a loved baby, and I have many other fosters who need my love, so that helps. You should definitely look into fostering for a rescue organization. Perhaps fewer or different foster cats would not bother your cats so much, and you can have an outlet for your love, and you can help hundreds of cats over the years, not just the ones you keep.
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